We went to visit my dad Sunday afternoon, after church and after our regularly scheduled naps. It's been awhile, and more awhile than it should have been. When the car got smashed, the trip to the nursing home got moved back a couple more days.
I told my mom that we would probably be there around 3:00 or so, but I overslept, and we didn't make it until almost 4:00. My mom and dad were down in the visitor's lounge playing Yahtzee. They were almost done. Both of them had gotten Yahtzees. It looked like a pretty good game.
I don't think my dad really knew who I was, at least right away. He was very confused and crabby. He kept asking what we were doing next, by which he meant, something interesting, not going to supper or watching Lawrence Welk.
He wanted to go to California.
And he thought my mother was being very very unreasonable because she wasn't packing their bags right away.
Writing this now, it seems kind of funny, but actually he was being kind of mean about it at the time. He kind of accused me of being "on my mom's side." And he said a lot of things that didn't make sense at all.
I've done a lot of visiting in hospitals and nursing homes through the years, and I'm used to people who are having trouble with reality. I can go with the flow in conversation with the best of them. I did that some, on Sunday.
But I'll tell you, it's not the same when it's your dad.
When he told my mom and me he wanted us to leave the room so that he could talk to my husband alone, I was figuring he thought there was some kind of great big conspiracy against him. I was pretty sure he thought my husband was someone else, perhaps a representative of the nursing home, or someone who could help him in some way.
I don't really know what to say sometimes, when people ask me, "How's you dad?" He does have good days, and he has bad days. My mom said that my neice was visiting about a week ago, and they had a really good time. So, I hope there are more good days on the horizon, more days when we can sing or tell a joke, or remember something from the old days. I hope there are a couple of times left when I'm not the enemy, when I see the old smile and the twinkly eyes and know he feels all right.